View Chicagoland From Perch of Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower

Cory Giguere / © TripSavvy


Chicago is home to the world's first skyscraper. And, one of the most impressive architectural marvels in the city, soaring at 110 stories tall, is the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). Once the tallest building in North America—One World Trade Center in New York City is the tallest in the US currently, Willis Tower remains a huge tourist attraction namely due to the Skydeck observatory, offering a view of Chicago at 1,353 feet (412 meters). Skydeck attracts around 1.7 million annual visitors.

The Skydeck is included with the purchase of a Go Chicago Card. (Buy Direct)

The Skydeck is included with the purchase of a Chicago CityPASS. (Buy Direct)


233 S. Wacker Dr.


877-SKY-DECK (759-3325)

Getting There By Public Transportation:

CTA Brown Line train to Quincy/Wells stop, walk one block west

Driving From Downtown:

Adams Street west, turn left on Wacker Drive, turn left on Jackson. Public entrance is on Jackson between Wacker and Franklin

Parking at the Willis Tower:

The parking garage is located across from the Willis Tower on Franklin Street. Convenient, but not cheap -- expect to spend upwards of $25 on parking.

Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower Hours:

March through September from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday 8:30 a,m.-12 a.m.
October through February from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Last entry 30 minutes prior to closing.

Willis Tower Skydeck Prices:

  • Adults (age 12 - 64): $25
  • Youth (age 3-11): $17
  • Children under 3: Free
 Cory Giguere / © TripSavvy

About the Willis Tower and Skydeck

Built in 1973 as the Sears Tower (renamed the Willis Tower in 2009 at the dismay of many locals), it held the title of the world's tallest building for 25 years. It lost that designation in 1998, but unless you're taking a little trip to New York City or Dubai any time soon, the Willis Tower is certainly the tallest skyscraper you're likely to visit.

But regardless of its architectural stature, there's one thing without a doubt -- the Willis Tower Skydeck offers the best and most amazing views in Chicago. On a crystal clear day, you can see into four states -- Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin -- as the range of view is 40 - 50 miles (65 - 80 kilometers). It's absolutely breathtaking. Do you remember the first time you looked out the window of an airplane, and your mind could hardly process the idea that you were that far up in the sky? The Skydeck is a similar experience.

As if the view weren't enough of an attraction, the Willis Tower Skydeck went through a $4 million renovation, and added the following:

  • The Ledge - four glass boxes that let you take in the view straight down
  • Interactive Chicago history exhibits
  • Multi-language (English, French, German, Japanese, Polish and Spanish) kiosks that guide you through a tour of Chicago landmarks
  • Knee-High Chicago, a "kid-level" display that teaches kids about Chicago sports and history
  • High-powered telescopes

If you truly want a bird's eye view (actually, I don't even know if birds get up that high!) of the Chicagoland area, then pay a visit to the Willis Tower Skydeck, you won't regret it.

Date Night at Skydeck Chicago
 Skydeck Chicago

Date Night at Willis Tower's Skydeck

Visitors may enjoy breakfast or Chicago-style, deep dish pizza as Skydeck and Giordano’s team up for a casual dining experience at the highest level. Guests may book reservations (two days in advance is required) for breakfast or a deep-dish pizza dinner on The Ledge, a series of glass bays that extend from Willis Tower’s 103rd floor. From two diners up to eight, the experience also includes VIP access to Skydeck Chicago.

Or, if yoga is your thing, check out the Sunset Meditation in the Skydeck, which takes place on October 6 from 6—9 p.m. You'll practice deep breathing, visualization and relaxing techniques as you are led through a stellar experience, high up in the sky.

Parlor Pizza Bar in the West Loop
 Parlor Pizza Bar

Where to Dine Nearby

The Skydeck is only two minutes away from trendy dining neighborhood West Loop. There are many, many options to choose from, including burgers, pizza, Mexican cuisine and fine dining.

The Skydeck is included with the purchase of a Go Chicago Card. (Buy Direct)

The Skydeck is included with the purchase of a Chicago City Pass. (Buy Direct)

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